Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Former Officer Heriberto Calles Accused of Destroying Evidence

Police have arrested a former Greenville officer accused of destroying evidence.

According to the Greenville Police Department, they arrested former officer Heriberto Calles, 40, of Winterville, Wednesday morning and charged him with obstruction of justice, altering, destroying or stealing evidence of criminal conduct, and willfully failing to discharge duties.

Police said when Calles was a Greenville police officer. He "destroyed photographic evidence and obstructed justice to minimize a domestic disturbance case he was responding to."

Greenville Police Sergeant Joe Friday said as far as police know Calles does not have any relationship to the two people involved in the domestic dispute case. According to Sgt. Friday the day after Calles responded to the disturbance someone came in with more evidence. He said the evidence didn't match up with Calle's report, and that fact sparked and internal affairs investigation.

“He just basically destroyed or deleted evidence of that should be included in a report,” Sgt. Friday said.

The GPD doesn't think he was covering up a crime but just cutting corners.

“That type of behavior is unacceptable and it actually is criminal in nature,” Sgt. Friday said.

According to the warrant, Calles told the two parties involved in the domestic dispute that, “this never happened and that we the police were never here... You need to settle this on your own."

Investigators said when they developed information about Calles' alleged actions, they presented the case to the State Bureau of Investigation in early March. Calles police powers were removed and he was suspended. He then resigned from the police force, according to GPD.

Calles was arrested Wednesday morning at the Pitt County Magistrate's Office and was given a $10,000 unsecured bond, police said. Calles was hired by the Greenville Police Department in January 2010.

Chief of Police Hassan Aden released the following statement:

"The arrest of Officer Calles serves as reminder that the law enforcement community in our city is not above the law and that the investigative process is intact and unbiased.

"I want our community to know that the Greenville Police Department holds itself accountable to the highest ethical standards and all laws that govern our society. This case was self-discovered and pursued by the Internal Affairs Division of the Greenville Police Department.

"I want to reaffirm that maintaining the public's trust is a top priority of my administration.  I want to thank the State Bureau of Investigation and the Pitt County District Attorney's Office for assisting us in the proactive pursuit of justice-even when the offender is a law enforcement officer."

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